things to do in Vienna, Austria

Vienna is a real city of culture and it has given the world some of its greatest artists and thinkers. It has many impressive palaces, churches, theaters and museums but it is also a lively city with plenty of restaurants (and more than 15 Michelin Star-rated restaurants), bars and outdoor festivals in the summer months.

There are few cities in the world that can boast the musical legacy that Vienna can. Mozart, Beethoven and both Johann Strauss senior and junior lived and worked in the city. Their music is still alive through the city’s many orchestras, musicians and singers.

With many classical concerts, and Viennese balls taking place inside 19th-century palaces, you’ll surely be able to feel the essence of the music that Mozart, Beethoven, and other great classical composers once played in “The City of Music”.

Just outside the city, you can find ancient villages, traditional Austrian towns and breathtaking alpine scenery. It would be hard to visit Vienna and not be overawed by how grand it all is.

Here are some fun things to do in Vienna.

1 – Explore Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens

Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens, Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace has to be the first stop for anyone visiting the city and one of the best things to do in Vienna. The palace gets its name from a spring that was found on the site by Emperor Matthias in 1612. The original building was a hunting lodge that grew over time to be the huge Baroque-style palace we see today.

Schönbrunn Palace is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the country. The house and its gardens are a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Read more about Schönbrunn Palace tickets price.

2 – Visit the Spanish Riding School

Spanish Riding School, Vienna

The Spanish Riding School upholds the dressage traditions of horse riding and the training of its famous Lippizaner horses. Visit the stables and Winter Riding School with its traditional architecture and grand views over the historic city.

For a relaxed equestrian experience why not try a traditional “Lohnkutchen” horse-drawn carriage ride around the city. Visitors can even enjoy a selection of food and drinks while touring the sights.

3 – See genuine masterpieces at Kunsthistorisches Museum

Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

The Kunsthistoriches is Vienna’s Historic Art Museum. The museum has works and masterpieces by some of the best known European artists such as Rubens, Rembrandt, Raphael, Titian and Durer.

The building is located on Maria-Theresien-Platz opposite the Natural History Museum in near-identical buildings. It has an extensive collection of ancient art including Egyptian objects, carvings and even mummified remains. In the stairwell, you can see frescoes by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.

4 – Ride the Wiener Riesenrad at The Prater

Wiener Riesenrad at The Prater, Vienna

The Wiener Riesenrad is Vienna’s antique, giant Ferris Wheel and is an iconic landmark on the city skyline. Everyone who travels here should take a spin on it and grab some of the best views of the city.

It is at the entrance to the city’s famous amusement park, The Prater, which was donated to the people in 1766. You will find plenty of fun ways to pass the afternoon here if you like rides, arcades, ghost trains and games!

5 – See dinosaur skeletons at the Natural History Museum

Vieanna Natural History Museum

Vienna Natural History Museum is considered one of the best in the world. Its impressive collection of artifacts, which includes dinosaur skeletons and ancient meteorites are housed in an equally impressive building.

The museum covers the history of life on Earth and even the planet itself and has a digital planetarium that shows a range of nature-related movies. This is one of the best attractions in Vienna.

6 – See the sights in the Historic Center of Vienna

Historic Center of Vienna

The historic center of Vienna known as Innere Stadt, or inner city, is the area of the city within the area’s grand ring road, the Ringstrasse. Here you can find lively restaurants and cafes, museums and galleries.

You can visit major landmarks including St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Hofburg palace or shop on the pedestrianized Kårtner Strasse. The Historic center is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its magnificent architecture and skyline.

7 – Visit the Albertina Museum

Albertina Museum in Vienna

As well as being a museum of fine art, The Albertina is also home to one of the most extensive print houses in the world. It has more than 65,000 drawings and over a million prints of old masterpieces.

The Museum itself is a great place to go see exhibitions of prints, drawings and photography. It has a permanent exhibition of modernist art in Austria covering Monet-Picasso. There are also grand historic rooms and apartments to visit within the building.

8 – Visit the majestic Hofburg Imperial Palace

Hofburg Imperial Palace, Vienna

Hofburg Palace has been the seat of power in the country since the 13th-century. It previously was the residence of the powerful Habsburg Dynasty who ruled Austria from the 15th-century. The Palace is now the home of the President of Austria.

You can visit the country’s impressive collection of Crown Jewels in the ancient Swiss Wing of the palace. Volksgarten park is a part of the palace grounds and has some interesting buildings including a smaller replica of the Temple of Hephaestus, the original of which is located in Athens.

9 – See the Crown Jewels at Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien

Kaiserliche Schatzkammer Wien, Vienna

Located in the Hofburg Palace, the Imperial Treasury is a fascinating place to visit as it hosts some of the country’s most valuable possessions. It has royal and religious collections including crowns, jewelry, clothing and one of the world’s largest emeralds.

Amongst the objects, you can find a very old narwhal tooth which was thought to be a unicorn’s horn and declared an heirloom of the Habsburg’s.

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Experience a live concert by candlelight in Vienna

Catch live performances on piano, violin and cello of classical music and tributes to your favorite modern bands and musicians, from Queen to the Beatles and Taylor Swift to Imagine Dragons. Candlelight concerts take place in scenic venues across the city that don’t typically host concerts and events for an unforgettable backdrop to live renditions of your favorite tunes.

10 – Visit the world’s oldest zoo at Tiergarten Schoenbrunn

Tiergarten Schoenbrunn, Vienna

The Vienna Zoo was established in 1752 and is the world’s oldest zoo that is still in operation. It is home to 8,500 animals from more than 700 species. Visitors can view giraffes from a raised gallery, see orangutans and Koalas, Siberian tigers and African elephants.

The most visited creatures in the zoo are its pair of Giant pandas named Yang yang and Yuan Yuan. The zoo’s architecture has a unique old-fashioned appearance which adds to the atmosphere of the place.

11 – Relax at the Schmetterlinghaus (butterfly house)

Schmetterlinghaus, Vienna

At the Schmetterlinghaus you can step out of the busy city for a while and find yourself in a peaceful and calm oasis. The Schmetterlinghaus is an enclosed garden that is home to tropical plants and 400 live butterflies.

This most colorful of living museums is a great place to unwind and observe the gentle butterflies. The Schmetterlinghaus is located about 200 meters from the Opera House in the Burggarten palace gardens.

12 – Try a food tour

cafe inside Kunsthistorisches Museum

Are you curious about Viennese food? Most people have heard of schnitzel, which is the Austrian national dish, but don’t know much more about the country’s cuisine.

A food tour is a great way to learn about Vienna’s most popular delicacies. Venture into the city with a local guide to show you the way. Sample traditional starters, main courses and desserts at the best local eateries.

13 – See the Gustav Klimt collection at Belvedere Palace

Belvedere Palace, Vienna

Vienna’s Belvedere Palace is actually two large palaces, The Upper Belvedere and The Lower Belvedere and also includes extensive gardens. It was built by Prince Eugene in the early 1700s for use as a summer palace.

It now holds a huge collection of Austrian art from the middle-ages to the current era. Some of the most paintings are by Gustav Klimt including his famous works The Kiss and Judith.

14 – Cruise the city on a segway tour

segway tours in Vienna

See the city in a fun and unique way on a segway tour. No experience is necessary, segway is an easy way to travel for everyone. You will be given a short lesson on riding the segway then hit the city streets.

Take a guided tour of the city passing all the major landmarks like the City Hall, Opera House and Hofburg Palace. A segway tour is a fun thing to do in Vienna.

15 – Climb the Steffl of St. Stephen’s Cathedral

St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna

St. Stephen’s Cathedral is the main church of Vienna and is an icon of the city. It was built in the 12th century and has an unusual roof with tiles arranged into the pattern of a double-headed eagle. Inside you can find many elaborate features like the stone pulpit and the 15th-century St. Catherine’s Chapel.

You can take a guided tour which allows you to climb the tower, or “Steffl”, for a great view of the city. It also gives unique access to the cathedral’s catacombs, crypts and tombs.

16 – See the birthplace of Mozart on a Salzburg day trip

Salzburg day trip from Vienna

Salzburg is a historic city on the Austrian-German border. Its picturesque alpine setting and ancient buildings make it one of the best day trips from Vienna. It was the hometown of Mozart and visitors can see his birthplace and family home.

Salzburg is also the setting of the Sound of Music and you can take a guided tour around the most famous sites from the movie which includes the gardens of Mirabell Palace. Salzburg is a must-see for music lovers.

Hot tip: Check out our complete list of things to do in Salzburg.

17 – Visit the turtles at Haus des Meeres – Aqua Terra Zoo

Aqua Terra Zoo, Vienna

Haus des Meeres is a city center aquarium and zoo which is home to 10 thousand aquatic lifeforms. Visitors can see sharks, turtles and many fish as well as reptiles and monkeys spread out over 9 floors.

Haus des Meeres is unique in the fact that it is located in a World War II flak Tower. It has a restaurant, observation deck and wartime museum in addition to the zoo and aquarium.

18 – See the landmarks on a Hop on Hop off Bus

bus tours in Vienna

A hop-on-hop-off bus tour is a great way to explore the city and visit the main landmarks and attractions. Listen to the audio guide as you cruise through the city streets on one of the many city buses.

See the Vienna State Opera, Albertina, Natural History Museum and Schonbrunn Palace. Get on and off as many times as you like during the validity of the ticket. Tickets can be purchased for one to six-day durations.

19 – Take a grand tour of the Esterházy Palace

Esterházy Palace, Austria

Visit the family home of the Esterházy dynasty for over 300 years, absorb the ornate beauty, browse the private art collections, and learn about what life was like to live in an estate such as this late 13th-century palace.

Built originally from a medieval castle, with moats and grandeur, the castle originally belonged to previous owners including King Louis.

Make sure to book a tour that will take you through the Palace Chapel, to the Haydn Concert Hall, as you learn about the story of its residents.

20 – Get inspired at Museumsquartier

Museumsquartier, Vienna

Museumsquartier is a huge space in Vienna devoted to arts and culture. It offers a venue for fine art, architecture and music as well as fashion, dance, theater, photography and street art. You can find almost all creative disciplines represented here.

The Museumsquartier encompasses over 60 institutions as well as studios and residences for artists. Among the institutions, there’s the Leopold Museum and the Modern Art Museum. It is a lively and inspiring place to visit and those with children will find plenty of interactive exhibits and workshops to get involved in.

21 – Try a scavenger game

scavenger games in Vienna

Looking for a unique way to explore the city? Why not try a scavenger hunt! Use an app to navigate your way around the city. Solve riddles and follow clues to complete challenges and receive the next set of coordinates.

Unlock stories about the places you visit and compete against other teams to get the highest score. This is a really fun thing to do in Vienna especially in a group!

22 – Take a picnic to Stadtpark

Stadtpark, Vienna

Vienna’s City Park is a great place to take a picnic and sit and watch the people pass. The park is divided by the Wienfluss river and has a lake and numerous Art Nouveau and contemporary sculptures.

One of the most famous monuments is a gilded statue of the composer Johann Strauss II who is one of the cities most celebrated sons.

Directions on Google Maps

23 – See the city like a local on a bike tour

bike tours in Vienna

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly way to see the city or just like to explore under your own steam, why not take one of the many bike tours? Take a long tour of the city and hit up all the major sites like the Imperial Palace, Austrian Parliament, Burgtheater and St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Follow the Donau canal on the cities extensive bike paths past Urania Observatory and through the Stadtpark past the majestic Karlskirche church.

24 – Attend a Johann Strauss and Mozart Concert at Kursalon Palace

concerts at Kursalon Palace, Vienna

Prepare for an evening of Viennese classical music inspired by Mozart, the Austrian composer and conductor Johann Strauss, and a few other notable composers from Vienna.

See as the music and the Viennese Waltz comes alive inside the ornate 19th-century Kursalon Palace, with all its glitz and glamour, taking you back to the Golden Age of Viennese Operetta.

Before heading to the concert, make dinner plans at the palace’s restaurant, serving a menu of modern Austrian dishes and complete dinner courses.

Concert tickets can be purchased online.

25 – Immerse yourself in Vienna’s past with Time Travel

Time Travel Vienna, Austria
Credit to Time Travel Vienna

Step back in time with Time Travel Vienna, a unique multimedia experience that takes you on a journey through 400 years of Vienna’s history.

From the ancient Roman camp of Vindobona to present-day Vienna, you’ll witness World War II, meet the imperial family and fly over the roofs of Vienna.

With the latest entertainment technology, including 5D cinema and virtual reality experiences, it’s a thrilling adventure for the whole family.

26 – Learn about medieval life at the Jewish Museum Vienna

Jewish Museum, Vienna

Vienna’s Jewish Museum tells the history of the city’s Jewish population from medieval times to the present day. Learn about the city’s rich Jewish history, customs and traditions in a series of permanent and temporary exhibitions.

See the foundations of an ancient synagogue on the site and see a 3D animation about Jewish life in Medieval Vienna. Learn how Vienna’s Jewish community rebuilt itself in the post-war years.

27 – Catch a performance at Peterskirche

Peterskirche, Vienna

A version of Peterskirche or St. Peter’s Church has sat on the same spot in Vienna since the 4th century. The current building was completed in 1733 and is one of the most attractive Baroque churches in the city.

The Classic Ensemble Vienna puts on regular concerts in the church performing pieces by Mozart, Vivaldi and Beethoven. To hear this timeless music in such stunning surroundings is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

28 – Meet the real Empress at the Sisi Museum

Sisi Museum, Vienna

The Sisi Museum takes a deeper look at Vienna’s enigmatic Empress Elisabeth wife of Emperor Franz Joseph. The exhibit takes a sensitive look at the life of the Empress and try’s to define who was the woman behind the fairytale exterior.

With a collection of personal items such as clothes, jewelry, letters and replicas of some of her famous dresses, this is a must for all Sisi fans.

29 – See the Stock-im-Eisen at Stephansplatz

St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

Stephensplatz is the central Square of Vienna and is named after the imposing St. Stephen’s Cathedral which takes center stage in the square. Around Stephensplatz you can find upmarket stores and the ancient street and marketplace Graben which is still in use today.

The Stock-im-Eisen, or staff in iron, is a local landmark near Stephansplats with mythical status. It is a section of a tree trunk with hundreds of nails hammered into it dating back to the 15th century.

30 – Take a day trip to Budapest

Budapest day trip from Vienna

If you are visiting Vienna for a longer stay why not take a day-long excursion to Budapest? The picturesque Hungarian capital has a lot of historical sites to see as well as restaurants, shops and cafes to explore.

See the famous Buda Castle, home to generations of Hungarian kings, St. Stephen’s Basilica and Fisherman’s Bastion with its beautiful views over the River Danube. A guided tour ensures that you won’t miss the best of this fascinating city.

31 – Take a romantic sunset Danube Cruise

sunset Danube cruise

The River Danube runs slightly to the north of the city’s historic center and is easily reachable by the subway system. Walking and cycling paths run down the river edge and offer a great place to escape on summer days.

Regular boat trips offer cruises on the Danube Canal which take you past the Reichsbrücke bridge and historic locks. Enjoy a meal onboard and take in sunset views of the city as a perfect end to the day.

32 – See where Mozart lived at Mozarthaus

Mozarthaus, Vienna

Music lovers and especially fans of classical music won’t want to miss the Mozarthaus museum. The Museum is located in the Vienna apartment where the composer lived from 1784 to 1787.

The museum focuses on the fruitful “Vienna years” of Mozart’s life in which he composed Le Nozze di Figaro. It contains documents, pictures and items related to the life of one of the world’s greatest composers.

33 – Get the best views of the city at the Donauturm

Donauturm, Vienna

The Donauturm, or Danube Tower, is Austria’s tallest landmark at 252 meters tall. It opened in 1964 and though it hosts cell phone and radio masts, its primary use is an observation tower.

Visitors can ride the high-speed elevators to the observation decks to see impressive 360° views of the Vienna skyline. A revolving cafe and a restaurant can also be found on different levels of the tower.

34 – Cool off at Bohemian Prater

Bohemian Prater, Vienna

The Bohemian Prater is a small amusement park on the edge of Vienna. Its history extends back to 1882 and some of its attractions are over 100 years old. It has traditional rides many of which are specifically aimed at younger children.

The Bohemian Prater has a bunch of water rides that are great for those sunny days as well as a vintage carousel and historic roller-coaster.

35 – Visit Vienna’s first green museum at Kunst Haus Wien

Kunst Haus Wien

Kunst Haus Wien is a museum and exhibition venue designed by influential Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The building is as much an art object as the works it holds and its distinctive wavy contours and painstaking mosaics are somewhat at odds with the city around it.

The Museum is dedicated to the works of the Hundertwasser and also displays exhibits of 20th and 21st-century photography exhibitions. It is also the city’s first green museum and focuses on sustainability in its operations.

36 – See the vistas of Melk Abbey & the Danube Valley on a day trip

Melk Abbey and Danube Valley day trip from Vienna

Melk Abbey stands overlooking the beautiful Wachau Valley. The current Baroque abbey is built on a much older site that has been in use since the 13th century. As well as its attractive design the abbey houses numerous medieval manuscripts and decorative frescos.

Take a scenic bus and river cruise through the picturesque Wachau and Danube Valleys and into the wine-growing region of Wachau. See this land of ancient castles, villages and vineyards.

37 – Spend the afternoon at Family Fun

Family Fun, Vienna

Family Fun is a large playground with indoor and outdoor areas for children of all ages. It has separate areas to play, jump, run and climb for older children and safe fun spaces for very small children to play.

A whole bunch of inflatables, trampolines, slides and play equipment is sure to keep the young ones happy as well as go-karts and games that even grown-ups can enjoy.

38 – Take a boat ride to Bratislava on a day trip

Bratislava day trip from Vienna

A day trip to Bratislava offers a great excuse to see more of the major European cities. The Slovakian capital sits between the borders of Austria and Hungary. The rolling hills and ancient vineyards of the surrounding area and its 18th-century architecture give it a historic but contemporary feel.

Bratislava is on the River Danube and a short boat trip from Vienna. Travel the slow way to really get a feel for the country. When in Bratislava, the ancient ruins of Devín Castle are a must-see.

Hot tip: Check out our list of things to do in Bratislava.

39 – See a whole day in 24 minutes at Miniatur Tirolerland

Miniatur Tirolerland, Vienna
credit to Miniature Tirolerland

Miniatur Tirolerland is more than an amusement park, it’s a miniature world! Tirolerland has highly detailed models of trains, cars and attractions all in miniature format. Visitors can see a whole 24 hour day reenacted in miniature every 24 minutes.

Thousands of LED lights create dawn, daytime and dusk, which intrigues you to watch and explore as the miniature world comes alive around you. A visit to Minatur Tirolerland is a really fun thing to do in Vienna.

40 – Visit the ornate State Hall of the Austrian National Library

State Hall of the Austrian National Library, Vienna

The Austrian National Library State Hall is not just any old library. The building is renowned for its impressive size and decoration as well as the works it holds. The State Hall is a grand building that was part of the Court Library.

It is nearly 80 meters long and 20 meters high with ornate frescos and decorations including four Venetian globes. The library has over 200,000 books and also puts on regular exhibitions.

41 – Visit the historic Central Cemetery (Zentralfriedhof)

Central Cemetery, Vienna

Zentralfriedhof is not actually in the city center, rather it received its name because it is the most used cemetery in Vienna. It is actually the second largest cemetery in Europe by capacity. It is a resting place for over 2.5 million people, including some very famous local residents.

Four of the world’s most beloved composers are buried here, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss and Brahms. Surprisingly, Zentralfriedhof is not actually that old and it first opened in 1874.

42 – Learn about the empire at Heeresgeschichtliches Museum

Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, Vienna

The Austrian Museum of Military History blends together technology, art, architecture and natural science to cover the country and its empire’s military history. Housed in the 19th-Century armory buildings, the exhibits show weapons, armored vehicles, planes, uniforms,  battleships and historical photographs.

The museum covers the eras of the Habsburg Dynasty from the 1500s to the fall of the empire in 1945. This is a great place to visit for lovers of history.

43 – Visit the Wachau Valley for wine tasting

Wachau Valley wine tasting, Vienna

The Wachau and Danube Valleys are the places to visit for wine tasting in Austria. The fertile valleys are home to steep vineyards which produce some of the country’s finest dry white wines.

There are numerous guided tours offered through the Wachau Valley region. Take in the scenic landscape of rolling hills, medieval villages and the majestic River Danube before stopping for lunch and tasting the best local wines.

44 – See the unique design of Hundertwasserhaus

Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna

Hundertwasserhaus is an apartment block in the Landstrasse district of Vienna which was designed by famed local artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The creator’s style is highly unique and features a prominent lack of straight lines, varied window sizes and wall textures.

In 1979, he was invited by the Mayor of Vienna to create a housing block based on his unique ideas. He submitted the design free of charge and it was built in 1983. Hundertwasserhaus features innovative ecological elements like a grassed living roof and is home to 250 trees and bushes.

45 – View the Astronomical Clock on a Prague day trip

Prague day trip from Vienna

When you’ve seen all there is to see in Vienna why not take a day trip to Prague. The Czech capital is another gem of a European city within a few hour’s drive of Vienna. This ancient city was the center of the Kingdom of Bohemia and it has buildings that date back thousands of years.

One of the most fun things to do in Prague is to visit the Old Town Hall and see the astronomical clock which was installed in 1410. It has been in almost continuous use since then and is thought to be the world’s oldest operating clock.

46 – See an Opera at Wiener Staatsoper

Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna

Fancy an evening of culture while you are visiting the city? Vienna State Opera puts on 300 performances a year. The building is home to the Vienna State Orchestra, State Ballet company and hosts the yearly Vienna Opera Ball.

It is a lively venue and its regular audience is not afraid to let the performers know if they are any less than perfect. Cut-price standing-only tickets are offered from eighty minutes before the shows.

47 – See the city from above on a helicopter tour

helicopter tours in Vienna

What better way to see the whole city than on a helicopter tour.  Grab aerial views of the entire city on these scenic flights and get insights from the helicopter pilot and crew.

Get a unique view of local landmarks like the Greifenstein Castle ruins and Klosterneuburg Monastery. Pass Castle Kreuzenstein and see Europe’s largest wetlands at the Donau Auen. This is a seriously fun thing to do in Vienna!

48 – Go hiking at Kahlenberg Mountain

hiking in Kahlenberg Mountain, Vienna

Kahlenberg Mountain is one of the most popular destinations to visit on a day trip from Vienna. It is located in the densely forested Vienna Woods and is easily reachable from the city by bus or car.

It is a beautiful spot to go hiking and you can get a great view of the entire city and parts of Lower Austria from Stefaniewarte tower at the peak.

49 – Visit the Sigmund Freud Museum

Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna
credit to Hertha Hurnaus / Sigmund Freud Privatstiftung

Sigmund Freud Is one of Vienna’s most famous sons. He created the field of psychoanalysis and his theories have shaped our understanding of the human mind and our behavior.

The Sigmund Freud Museum is located in his former home and office and contains collections and exhibitions related to his life and works. It also contains Europe’s largest Psychoanalytical Research Center and the Sigmund Freud Foundation Research Institute.

50 – Meet the stars at Madame Tussauds Vienna

Madame Tussauds, Vienna

A trip to Madame Tussauds is always fun. The Vienna branch has waxwork lookalikes of worldwide celebrities and local ones. Where else could you hang out with Empress Sisi and Mozart as well as Freddie Mercury, Angelina Jolie and Audrey Hepburn at the same time?

Travel to a Hollywood party, a Vegas chapel and the picturesque alps and enjoy the guided audio tour experience. A visit to Madame Tussauds is a fun thing to do in Vienna.

51 – Hear the best of Vienna music at the Eschenbach Palace

Eschenbach Palace, Vienna

Vienna is still considered the capital of classical music worldwide. A visit to the Eschenbach Palace is an unforgettable experience for music lovers. Enjoy an evening of Viennese music from Mozart, Schubert and Strauss performed by the Vienna supreme Orchestra.

Take in the beautiful surroundings of the Palace’s Golden Ballroom with its coffered ceiling, baroque decorations and fantastic acoustics. Classical music fans shouldn’t miss this.

52 – Grab a coffee in the historic Café Central

Café Central, Vienna

Café Central is something of an institution in Vienna and from the late 19th-century became the place to meet local intellectuals. Famous patrons include Peter Altenberg, Sigmund Freud and Leon Trotsky to name but a few.

The Cafe is located in the Palais Ferstel in the upmarket Herrengasse neighborhood and has a classic decoration with a glass ceiling and marble pillars. It serves a variety of sweet treats and traditional Viennese foods.

53 – Visit MAK Austrian Museum of Applied Arts

Austrian Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna

MAK focuses on the relationships between art and design and especially architecture and contemporary art. The institution was founded in 1864 and its collection is one of the most important in the world.

Exhibits focus on the Vienna 1900 period, an era of great creativity in the city but also feature works from the middle ages to the current day. MAK DESIGN LAB focuses on the positive effects design can have.

54 – See the dome at Karlskirche

Karlskirche, Vienna

Karlskirche church is one of the most beautiful baroque churches in Vienna and can be found just outside the Innere Stadt. It has an unusual ellipsoid dome that is decorated with magnificent frescos by Johann Michael Rottmayr.

The interior of the church is quite stunning with marble pillars, ornate plasterwork and a dramatic altar to the Apotheosis of Saint Charles Borromeo. The famous Venetian composer Antonio Vivaldi was buried here in 1741 though it’s not certain where.

Make sure to check out the classical music concerts that take place inside, and feel transported to the times of Motzart surrounded by timeless baroque beauty.

55 – See the Habsburg sarcophagi at the Imperial Crypt of Capuchin Church

Imperial Crypt, Vienna

The Imperial Crypt at the Capuchin Church is the resting place of 145 members of the Habsburg family who ruled the region from the 15th Century onwards. There are 107 metal sarcophagi in total and five urns containing hearts.

Amongst the remains are 12 Emperors and 18 Empresses. There are some very elaborate and ornate sarcophagi and some much more austere ones. The sarcophagus of Charles VI is particularly grand with crowned skulls and cherub decorations.

56 – Visit an ancient settlement on a Hallstatt day trip

Hallstatt day trip from Vienna

Hallstatt is another popular day trip from Vienna. It is a very small town famed for its picture-perfect scenery. The town has a history that dates back to prehistoric times which centered around the local salt mines.

Take a day trip to Hallstatt and receive a guided tour of the most famous landmarks. Stop en route to visit the birthplace of Mozart’s mother in St. Gilgen and enjoy the lakes of Mondsee and Wolfgang amid the spectacular alpine scenery.

57 – Get a virtual reality tour from an Empress on Sisi’s Amazing Journey

Sisi’s Amazing Journey, Vienna

If you’re looking for an unusual yet informative way to learn about the history of Vienna why not take Sisi’s Amazing Journey! Let Empress Sisi take you on a virtual reality boat ride and give you a full tour of the town.

Take a trip through the city sewers, wave to the cheering crowds then visit the torture chambers of Elizabeth Bathory and more. Let Sisi recount humorous stories and take you on a flight over the city. This is a lighthearted look at Vienna and one of its greatest personalities.

58 – Direct an Opera at Haus Der Musik

Haus Der Musik, Vienna
credit to Haus der Musik Museum

Haus der Musik is a museum of music and sound. It has interactive exhibits that encourage a playful as well as a scientific approach to music. You can hear music as a baby would inside the womb, put your name into a composition and direct your own opera on a virtual stage.

In addition to the exhibits, Haus Der Musik hosts live concerts, talks by artists and a varied program of events. Haus der Musik is a fun place to visit for the whole family.

59 – Try the wiener schnitzel at Wiener Wiaz Haus

Wiener Wiaz Haus, Vienna

Wiener Wiaz Haus first opened in the city in 1898. It is a popular spot for great schnitzel and beer in Vienna. The restaurant is pretty low-key with retro unpretentious decor. It has two outdoor gardens areas and an indoor parlor and taproom with the original wood bar.

Wiener Wiaz Haus most popular dish is veal wiener schnitzel but it has three menus to choose from which also include vegetarian options.

60 – See the treasures of Weltmuseum (ethnographic museum)

Weltmuseum, Vienna
credit to KHM-Museumsverband / Weltmuseum

The Weltmuseum is a museum of historical artifacts from around the world. Located in a wing of the  Imperial Palace it houses hundreds of thousands of items from diverse cultures across Africa, Asia, America and Oceania.

Some of the museum’s most prized artifacts are an Aztec headdress from the early 1600s, a 2000-year-old Vietnamese drum and 14th-century glass lamps from Cairo.

61 – Visit the ruin of Aggstein Castle

Aggstein Castle, Vienna

Aggstein Castle is a ruined 12th-Century castle that overlooks the River Danube. It sits on a rocky outcrop perched 300 meters above the river. It has had some notable owners including the Kuenrings, Jörg Scheck von Wald and Anna von Polheim-Parz.

The castle was left to deteriorate from the mid-1600s but in the 1930s efforts were made to preserve it. It is now a popular attraction and visitors can see the escape-proof prison and chapel.

62 – Spend the day kayaking on the Alte Donau

kayaking in Vienna

Vienna has miles of waterways in and around the city, why not try kayaking on the Alte Donau? The Alte Donau or Old Danube was a section of the main Danube until the river was diverted in 1870 due to regular flooding.

It now offers a calm place to go kayaking in the city and spot wildlife like geese, swans and ducks. A kayaking tour is a great way to see the changing landscape of the Vienna riverside.

63 – Watch a performance of Viennese Music by the Hofburg Orchestra

Hofburg Orchestra, Vienna

The Vienna Hofburg Orchestra features at least 40 of the capital’s best musicians, performing “Viennese waltz and operetta music.”

Throughout the summer months, the orchestra holds regular weekly concerts at the Hofburg Palace, performing music by Mozart and Strauss. if you like classical music, why not include it in your calendar?

64 – Jump around at FLIP LAB

FLIP LAB, Vienna

Whether you’re a trampoline beginner or already a pro, you may want to get your blood pumping at this gym in MILLENNIUM City, Vienna. It’s a place for fun and action where you can practice your ninja-backflip skills in safety and with a verified instructor.

Flip Lab has 12 different zones and 2000 square meters of high-flying trampoline fun as well as a spectator lounge and cloakrooms with showers. A visit to Flip Lab could be the fun thing to do in Vienna that you are looking for!

65 – Blow off steam at Tigersworld

Tigersworld, Vienna

If you have young children aged six years and over, a visit to the Tigersworld Adventure play park might be just the thing. It has 2000 square meters of equipment to climb, jump and play on.

The park has three Ninja-parkour tracks, a trampoline zone and a 30 square meter jump air-bag. For the brave, there is a 7-meter climbing wall to really test their bouldering skills on. A trip to Tigersworld is a great way to spend the afternoon.

66 – See a German-language play at the Burgtheater

Burgtheater, Vienna

The Burgtheater is the national theater of Austria and one of the oldest theaters in Europe. It has a distinct style of its own and performs only German-language plays. It is a big part of the culture of the city and was the venue for the premiers of three operas by Mozart and Beethoven’s first symphony.

It is worth a visit to the theater to see the building itself with ceiling murals created by Gustav and Ernst Klimt. Guided tours run daily.

67 – Enjoy sweets fit for an Emperor at The Demel

The Demel, Vienna

The Demel is a well-known pastry shop and chocolatier in Vienna that first opened in 1786. It was a popular eatery of the Viennese aristocracy and was a favorite of Emperor Franz Joseph I and the Empress Sisi.

The Demel has some fun traditions that have endured through time. You will always be referred to as sir or madam in the third person by the traditionally dressed waitresses known as Demelinerinnen. Try the famous Sachertorte, a dense chocolate cake with apricot jam, if you really want to indulge yourself.

68 – Admire the urban street art on a Street Art Tour

street art tours in Vienna

Although Vienna is brimming with classical art, the streets of this beautiful city also have an incredible street art scene not to miss, which you can see and learn more about on a Street Art Tour.

Walk alongside a knowledgeable, local guide as you discover street artwork from Shepard Fairey and ROA, as well as other pieces of work that are both eye-catching, and carry a message that requires no language proficiency.

At the end of your tour, enjoy a local favorite snack – Austrian sausage and beer/wine!

69 – Eat and shop for bargains at the Naschmarkt

Naschmarkt, Vienna

The Naschmarkt is the most popular market in Vienna and is a good place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, cheeses, meats and baked items. The market also has a good selection of stalls selling prepared snacks like hotdogs, sandwiches and sushi.

The market has a multicultural selection of foods and you will find traditional Austrian cheeses alongside Korean kimchi and Turkish kebabs. This is an al fresco dining experience not to be missed!

70 – Go shopping at Kärntner Straße

Kärntner Straße, Vienna

Kärntner Straße is the city’s most famous shopping street and runs from St. Stephen’s Cathedral to the Vienna State Opera building. The busy main street of the Innere Stadt has imposing 19th-century buildings housing shops, cafes and restaurants. The ornate Donner Fountain is located here.

You will find many luxury high street brands here and it is a nice place to visit in the evening with its small bars and cafe culture. The street oldest building, the Palais Esterházy has a well-known underground restaurant and wine tavern called Esterházykeller.

Directions on Google Maps

71 – Experience Fine Dining at the Michelin Star Restaurants in Vienna

fine dining in Vienna

Dine in comfort as you enjoy some of the award-winning dishes at Eckel, offering a refined version of Viennese country cooking inside a wonderfully cozy and chic restaurant. Located in the 19th district, the restaurant features terrace dining, as well as indoors during the colder months.

Taste the fusion between international cuisines with Austrian classic flavors at Amador, located inside the Hajszan Winery. This modern restaurant sources its ingredients from local producers, and imports only the best quality ingredients from other countries, to serve you the perfect concoctions of cultures on your plate.

Try the Szegediner lobster with cabbage when you dine at the Micheline star Vestibül restaurant, located inside the Burgtheater. Make an evening plan out of it, and check out a show after your memorable meal.

72 – Wind down at a spa

Therme Wien, Vienna

After a busy day of sightseeing and museum hopping it’s great to unwind at Therme Wien. The city center spa has over 20 naturally heated pools to enjoy as well as saunas, steam rooms and aroma rooms.

It also has a playground for the kids to explore while the adults take time to relax. Afterward, you can take a cozy seat in the fire lounge or visit the library and cinema.

Check out Aux Gazelles Hammam and the Golden Tree Massage for the ultimate wellness experience offering some award-winning deep-tissue massage services and hair and body beauty services.

73 – Visit the Musikverein to see a concert

Musikverein, Vienna

Vienna’s Musikverein is one of the city’s finest concert halls. It is home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and is renowned for its outstanding acoustics. The Musikverein’s Great Hall seats 300 and is also known as the “Golden Hall” due to its ornate decorations.

Join the Vienna Philharmonic for an evening of music by Mozart including his concertos, symphonies and operas.

74 – Dine with a view at Das LOFT

Das LOFT, Vienna

If you’re looking for the most spectacular views in the city and great modern cuisine, Das Loft will likely fit the bill. The restaurant is on the 18th floor of upmarket hotel SO/VIENNA and has floor-to-ceiling windows facing out onto the city.

Das Loft offers some classic Viennese dishes as well as seasonal and regional specialties made with the best local ingredients. This place is worth it for the spectacular views alone.

75 – Play roulette at Wien Casino

Wien Casino, Vienna

Vienna Casino can be found in the grand Palais Esterházy, on Vienna’s glitzy Kärntner Straße near St. Stephen’s Cathedral. It offers an elegant environment to try your luck at a game of roulette. It also has slot machines and tables for blackjack, poker and Macau baccarat.

The casino has a bar and restaurant serving a selection of two and four-course meals in the style of traditional Viennese dishes.

76 – Drink up the Viennese city views at the best rooftops

best rooftop bars in Vienna
Credit to Aurora Rooftop Bar

Though the rooftop furnishings at Aurora Rooftop Bar are minimal, they make the spectacular sights of the Vienna skyline the star of the show. Grab your friends, and order yourselves refreshing cocktails to seal the evening in style.

Look at the city from the floor-to-ceiling glass windows at Das Loft Bar & Lounge, making it the perfect rooftop to visit during the colder seasons. Turn the heat up, and visit on the weekends when the DJ plays the perfect tracks.

Recline on a lounger with your craft cocktail in hand, and toast to another successful day exploring Vienna at Dachboden at 25hours Hotel. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing early evening or a vibey night of dancing, you’ll find it all here.

Want to truly feel on top of the world? Visit Vienna’s highest rooftop bar, 57 Restaurant & Lounge featuring the best drink creations from talented mixologists, as the panoramic views show you the city lit up in thousands of lights.

Have authentic Austrian food with a side of Viennese wine or a lovely cocktail at SKY Bar, Cafe, Restaurant. Offering sights of the side of Stephen’s Cathedral, as well as the other historic buildings, you’ll really feel like you’re in Vienna.

77 – Get a taste of Vienna nightlife on a pub crawl

pub crawls in Vienna

Vienna’s many pubs, bars and clubs are just waiting to be explored. Why not take a guided tour with a knowledgeable local around the best spots in the city.

Mingle with international travelers on a group tour through the city’s most beloved bars and clubs. Get special drinks promotions and play traditional drinking games while you make new friends. A pub crawl is great for solo travelers and groups alike.

78 – Sleep in a palace

Sleep in a Palace in Vienna, Imperial Hotel

Unlike most cities, Vienna has a wealth of extravagant palaces. What better place to stay while visiting the city than in one of these grand buildings. Stay in the heart of the city’s “Golden Quarter” surrounded by decadent historical buildings, world-leading museums and outstanding restaurants.

For a 5 star stay in a Vienna palace, look at The Park Hyatt Hotel, Hotel Bristol and Hotel Imperial all of which have a luxurious and uniquely Viennese style.

79 – Visit the Christmas Market at Rathaus (town hall)

Christmas Market at Rathaus, Vienna

The Rathaus, or town hall, and its square are still at the center of life in Vienna. This huge Neo-Gothic building is the office of the city’s mayor but also has ballrooms, banqueting halls and a restaurant.

The Square hosts a yearly film festival throughout the summer months and has a whole program of free events. The Rathausplatz is at its most magical in December when the Christmas market fills the square with lights, food stalls, rides and an ice skating rink.

Directions on Google Maps

How to get to Vienna?

Prepare your ride to the city center from Vienna’s main airport (Vienna International Airport – Flughafen Wien) by pre-booking your airport transfer.

Avoid the hassle of figuring out the public transport, carrying your luggage to bus stops or busy trains, and instead book a private airport transfer to drop you off at your hotel directly, or any other point in the city.

Where to stay in Vienna?

Order room service or dine in the restaurant downstairs surrounded by Art Deco and Baroque interiors when you stay at the hospitable Steigenberger Hotel Herrenhof. Relax and rejunviante after tiring sightseeing days when you book a spa experience in the hotel’s incredible 2-floor spa with saunas.

Wake up every morning to the stream of light coming in through your room’s large windows when you stay at Eurostars Embassy. Offering guests a fresh and filling breakfast with vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, to enjoy right before heading out to the main sights like Saint Stephen’s Cathedral closeby.

Located on the historic Mariahilfer Straße, a famous shopping street in Vienna is Hotel MOTTO, featuring freshly served breakfast inside their on-site restaurant. Rest up every night inside their fully furnished, elegantly decorated rooms, with city views of the historic district. Don’t worry about the outside noise, as the hotel comes with soundproof windows.

Visiting Vienna on a budget?

Make sure to book a free walking tour to get a walk-through of the different sites throughout Vienna. Offering a layout of the city, available in a variety of languages.

Wondering where some of the best walking tours of Vienna are, or how to book one? Check out our guide to the best free walking tours in Vienna.

Where to go next?

Check off more amazing places to visit in Europe, especially near Vienna, starting with Salzburg, offering baroque and medieval architecture, with the outstanding backdrop of the Eastern Alps. Tour the home of Mozart, and take a Sound of Music tour while you’re there.

Looking for outdoor experiences? Head to Innsbruck, “the Olympic City”, and enjoy a diverse range of sports activities – from skiing to rock climbing.

Prague is only a short plane ride away and features a picturesque Old Town with a mix of Art Nouveau and Cubist architecture, as well as a unique “beer bath” you can’t find anywhere else. Attend a classical concert, performed by some of the best Czech composers.

Explore the wonders in Budapest, crossing the Danube River to explore Buda and Pest as well as witness the changing of the guards at the Parliament. Discover different areas and their street art on a street art tour.

Book a Multi-Day trip to keep exploring a bit more outside the city center of Vienna to iconic must-see places including climbing the “Sky Ladder” – Salzkammergut.

Final thoughts

With its ongoing list of things to do in Vienna, like witnessing a Viennese Waltz in a 19th- century palace, to visiting the world’s oldest and continuous zoo, visiting Vienna is just like taking a bite out of a decadent slice of Viennese Sachetorte (chocolate cake) – spectacular and satisfying to the senses.

Safe travels to the “City of Dreams” – Vienna!

Benjamin Halliday is a seasoned content writer for TourScanner. Based in the UK, Benjamin's wanderlust has taken him across Europe and the US, with a transformative 7-year sojourn in Portugal adding depth to his tales. Beyond his written words, he's a gifted musician who revels in sampling, creating, and playing enthralling tunes. Whether through captivating articles or mesmerizing music, Benjamin's creations always promise an unforgettable journey.